By now I assume most or all of you are familiar with the Nigeria scams where you will get thousands but just pay a fraction of that up front. And most of you are wise enough not to fall for it. But here is a variation on it for web designers to be aware of. I got this email yesterday with the subject line, “ATTN Web Design needed”:
I’m Jerry,am hearing impaired.i would love to know if you can handle website design for a new company and also if you do you accept credit cards ?? kindly get back to me ASAP so i can send you the job details.
Seemed reasonable but before responding, I thought I’d do a bit of sleuthing so I Googled the subject line. Sure enough, others had already responded enough to see it was a scam. (See this well researched article: http://blog.ihenix.com/nearly-got-scammed/).
I won’t go through all the processes used since the above linked article covers that very well, but to save others from replying and getting hopeful after submitting a proposal to scammers, don’t bother with these. Apparently they are targeting other industries as well (photographers, graphic designers, etc).
On my email they put the cc’s for other web designers in the vicinity of mine so I sent a heads up to them as well. I don’t know if that was a mistake openly cc’ing other design shops or not but it seems they are focusing on regional design businesses.
So if you see a similar email whether from Jerry Ford, Witney Wharf, Jennifer Wooldridge, or a myriad of other pseudo-names, best bet is to delete it like with other Nigerian scams.
Here is a good article from a guest author on the importance of not only having a website for your clients, but also helping them in marketing their website. Enjoy!
The scenarios of shopping have changed a lot with the development of the Internet and it is possible only with the World Wide Web service. This is highly used by all the business today to enhance their marketing capability of the product and services that they are offering. It helps in reaching a wide database of consumers and also in aspect of money. With the recent development in web marketing service the difference between your client and their customer has been reduced to such an extent that now with a single click of the mouse they can communicate with each other. The contribution of web marketing service to the business world is unlimited.
In order to be noticed by the net users today, you need to have an attractive website which requires high quality web hosting services. Website designing and domain purchasing is also an important part of web marketing services and they are performed by professionals. They design and present your company and its products in an organized as well as attractive manner. The website design should always be attractive, friendly and simple so that it can not only attract the customers but also enable them to remember the products that you are offering.
The social media is the best for marketing your products and services with the use of web marketing services. With a high coverage of SMM your site will get a good public attention and it can even change potential clients to buyers. Twitter, Orkut, Facebook are some of the social websites that are known for attracting the maximum number of visitors. If you focus on these media you can enhance the visitor numbers to a larger extent than usual.
Web site marketing also offers video marketing which is an efficient tool for marketing of products and services. If videos are crafted professionally, your business can get high popularity and opportunity. It’s also one of the best ways to launch a new product in the market. Viewers can get highly impressed and attracted with videos thus enhancing the horizon of your company.
Web marketing service enables you to attract a high amount of traffic to your designed website and it is the major component of online marketing. The more you are able to get, the more will be the opportunity of converting customers to buyers. Web marketing services enable you to make use of various channels online like social media, content creation and advertising.
Creating awareness of the brand
The main part of any business is its branding. It’s no longer possible like that of olden days to dominate the market with only a single product. Today, in order to stay in the mind of people and influence the purchasing decision, your business should able to create a brand. The Internet service enables you to spread the name of your business brand and also at the same time influence the users.
Mike is an eCommerce solutions specialist based in Stockholm. He focuses on creating effective web design for small eCommerce websites. He also reviews services from web marketing service.
I read an interesting article in my Information Week magazine this week entitled, “For Vanguard, Running IT Comes Second“. There were several points of the article that do not relate to me or other home-based web designers out there. But a statement about Vanguard that caught my attention was that “The CIO’s No. 1 job is to help run the company“. In other words, the CIO (Chief Information Officer or head of technology services) for Vanguard is now part of the senior executive team. It used to be that the CIO was a highly knowledgeable techie who could keep the other techies motivated to provide needed computer and Internet services. Now the CIO sits on the executive team with access to the top brass.
What’s that got to do with a home-based or relatively small-scale web developer? If you are still thinking of yourself as providing web services when the owner of a small business asks for it, perhaps you need to think bigger scale. Certainly not CIO of a small business with a half-dozen — or even a one person team. But you should have access to the head of the organization where you can help decide which Internet services will help their bottom line. Not all of my clients view my opinions in that light but many do.
If the website is tired and outdated, that might only bother you as a web designer with an eye for updated websites. But I guarantee that the company you are working for does care if Google has dropped them from the top page to the tenth page in the ratings due to that outdated site. And when that company president learns that they could get a slew of queries and email addresses from their customers if you can just convert that PDF article they wrote into a “FREE E-BOOKLET” with a promise of future information on the topic, at that point, you are no longer “just a web guy”. You are a valued adviser with an eye to improving the company’s bottom line.
So start thinking of ways to improve your clients’ sales and profit and you may find yourself being treated with much greater respect (and your own bottom line will likely start improving!). Of course not all companies will welcome your advice with open arms. But to some degree, most will. And isn’t it much nicer to have your clients coming to you for advice on services they are considering rather than shopping through all the spam emails promising the world but delivering nothing? Look for ways to improve your clients’ business and you will find they’ll start welcoming you into their future plans for growth.
Do clients ask you why they should spend their hard-earned money to update their web site when it looks satisfactory to them the way it is. As a web design professional, here are three good reasons you can use. First and most importantly, is to keep the attention of the search engines. Second is to keep the site updated with the newer technology that is always coming out. Third is to give repeat visitors a reason to return with something new to look at. Let’s look at each of these individually… Continue reading
If you are a web designer for smaller businesses, you will frequently be asked, “Who do you recommend that I can use to host my web site?“. Or more likely your client won’t know to ask that but instead will say, “What else do I need to be on the Internet?”. Because web design is primarily an artistic “ponytail” endeavor whereas hosting is mostly more techie than artistic, you may prefer to steer clear of hosting. This could be a mistake. Continue reading
I read an interesting article in my July/August 2010 issue of FastCompany.com magazine titled “Blowing the Baton Pass“. The gist of the article was to create a metaphor of the top-notch skill of the US 2008 Olympic relay team’s botched passing of the baton and relating it to business. It is a great metaphor. The US relay team had, by all appearances, the best winning team in the world. Except one seemingly minor detail. Under pressure, they dropped the baton when passing from one to the other — causing a disqualification. Continue reading
I have a bias because I host most of my web design clients. I did it out of desperation. I used to suggest that my clients shop around and get a low price — after all, it is just a place to put files to connect to the Internet, right? Many of my clients would come to me later bemoaning the poor service they were getting from their web host and ask me who I’d recommend. There were some “expensive” services out there but I’d always suggest another low-cost service to try. Then when problems arose, I was blamed for recommending that service. Continue reading
Included in being a full service web designer is selling domain names. Like offering hosting services (see my article on offering hosting services to your clients) you should include domain name sales to your toolbox. Unlike some other services, there is not much money to be made in domain name management. I sell mine for $25 per year. You probably won’t get rich by selling domain names to your clients. But your client trusts that you know how to secure domain names for them. Continue reading